Our Trip to Disneyland Paris – March 2017!

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On Friday we came home from our long awaited trip to Disneyland Paris and we’re missing it so much already! (So much we’re already booking our next visit). This trip was pretty special to us, after 21 years of friendship we’d never gone away together and had always loved the idea of going to Disneyland, so we finally did it! We stayed in Disneyland for 4 days and got pretty much everything done that we wanted to do. The park was pretty busy, which we weren’t expecting but the queues were hardly ever over 30 minutes (apart from Crush Coaster), and we made great use of the fastpass machines.

Day One – Travelling Day and Exploring the Parks:

We flew from Manchester at 8:30 in the morning and arrived at Charles de Gaulle just before 10am! After a stressful few minutes trying to find the Magical Express stop, we threw our luggage onto the coach and headed off to Disneyland. We were staying at the Sequoia Lodge hotel which is right on the lake and about 3 minutes from the Disney Village Which we loved! Check in was really easy and quick, and the lovely cast member even gave us Birthday badges as she said both of our birthdays were close enough to celebrate them in the parks! The badges were a really lovely touch, and any cast member that saw them wished us a Happy Birthday and made that little bit of extra effort with us, which was lovely! A cast member in Lillys Boutique even ran from behind the desk and gave us both a hug!

Our room was a standard room with two double beds which were SO comfy, they made getting up early for extra magic hours that little bit harder. The whole hotel was Bambi and Chip and Dale themed which I loved and I’d highly reccomend staying there, it’s an amazing hotel which has gorgeous surroundings.

We then walked to the Parks armed and ready with our Minnie ears! Ash loves the Tower of Terror ride in the Studio park, so we headed there first. As soon as we walked through the Studios entrance I turned into my 6 year old self again. Donald Duck was just plodding around (anyone who knows me knows how much I love Donald) and I got super excited! We walked through and straight to Tower of Terror. I’d never done this ride, and I’m a massive wimp when it comes to getting scared so I was SO paranoid about one of the cast members making me jump, ha. After going on it once, we couldn’t keep off it! I think we went on Tower of Terror at least twice a day, and most of the time the queue was only 10 minutes long so we’d get straight off and go back round to line up again. It’s definitley my favourite ride now and I love the whole story behind it!

By this point, it was around 4pm and we still hadn’t seen the castle! We walked over to the Disneyland Park, and as soon as we saw the castle Ash had her moment and almost started sobbing. (Sorry Ash!) – It was so surreal being there after we’d been looking forward to it for so long.

Day Two – A Day in the Parks & My First Time Seeing Disney Dreams:

After being exhausted from the Parks on our first day, we over-slept and missed our breakfast reservation in the park. Instead we decided to grab a quick snack and head in for extra magic hours as soon as they started. However, I think on this day we were pretty dissapointed with extra magic hours as the character queues were already over an hour and a half long, and you couldn’t line for any rides! – We just strolled through the different lands and ended up hopping over to the other park and straight onto Tower of Terror again and Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster. Whilst we were still there during the Season of the Force, the Stormtrooper patrol was still going on along with all of the other Star Wars shows. It was so amazing and I got a little giddy seeing Stormtroopers just walking around with Captain Phasma.

Later that evening, around 7:30 we waited infront of the castle to get a spot for Disney Dreams. I was so excited! Although Dreams has finished now, I’d definitley say waiting an hour before the show was completely worth it as we got right at the front! We sat prepared with our popcorn, crepes and hot chocolates for it to begin. As soon as second star to the right started playing, I was gone! Disney Dreams is 100% the most magical, amazing thing I have ever seen! and although I’ve only seen it once, I think seeing it once has made it all the more magical and special to me.

Day Three: Cafe Mickey and Meeting Characters:

Before booking the trip we knew we wanted to book a reservation at Cafe Mickey as a good way to get in some character meets. We arrived at the cafe just before our reservation, and after waiting 20 minutes or so, we were seated and waited for some characters to come round. This may spoil the magic for some people, but if I’m being honest, we were quite dissapointed at first as we met only one charater after being there for an hour and half and we would often get characters making it to the table before us, to then have them taken away to change and they’d come back and wouldn’t realise that they hadn’t been to our table. I remember we waited for Mickey to come back to our table, and he just walked straight past us. The heartbreak! I think a woman on the table opposite us complained to cast member about this, as it was her little boys birthday and he hadn’t met any characters! Then suddenly, all of the characters were arriving all at once straight after eachother. Me and Ash completely started to loose it (no shame) and I think we even dived on Pluto at the same time. We were just too excited. In the end we managed to meet Chip, Daisy, Pluto, Eeyore and Mickey. Although we did have a bit of a dissapointing start at Cafe Mickey, they definitley redeemed it back! I’d definitley book a character breakfast there again.

After leaving the breakfast, we were on such a high (like two little kids) and wanted to see if we could get any more characters in as there was a few minutes left of extra magic hours. We headed into the Disneyland Park and the line for Donald was so short! (I’d wanted a picture with Donald since I was about six years old, so I was verrrry excited) and it was honestly the best interaction I could of asked for! Childhood dream complete haha. We also lined for Meet Mickey Mouse, which was about an hour long but so worth it! They play old Disney cartoons whilst you wait to go in the room, which made it a lot more bearable!

Before we even headed to Disneyland, we were both really gutted that we missed the opening of the new Star Tours by just a few days. Ash spent hours trying to find out about any soft openings and we were told there weren’t any scheduled at all. After we’d met the characters, we headed back to our hotel to freshen up and relax for a bit, and someone tweeted saying that it was open for testing! I don’t think we’ve ever moved so fast in our lives! We pretty much ran to Discoveryland from Sequoia Lodge and got straight onto the ride! Ash was so excited she was taking pictures of everything! And no spoilers here but, the updated version is AMAZING! I can’t believe we actually got on the testing and I’m so happy that we were one of the first lots of people to ever experience it! – If you’re heading to Disney anytime soon, go on it!

As we’d watched Dreams the night before, we headed to the Studios park for the Star Wars show at around 8:15. Again, we got an amazing spot right infront of Tower of Terror which looked incredible all lit up! – The show was AMAZING, and I think we both got a bit emotional (again!). It definitley put me on a high and I had to force Ash not to let me buy a Lightsaber.

Day Four: Shopping in Paris and Our Last Evening in the Parks

Day four we headed to the train station and took the RER train into central Paris. For anyone wondering, you take the RER Line A straight to Charles de Gaulle – Étoile and you come out right infront of the Arc De Triomphe, with the Champs-Élysées right behind you. We headed straight into Sephora, where we both did some serious damage to our bank balances. I was super happy to see that they had the whole Kat Von D range, and picked up a Lock it Creme Concealer and the Lock it Setting Powder. Both of which I can’t reccomend enough! I also picked up my usual YSL Top Secrets Moisture Glow Base, which I now cannot live without along with the Urban Decay All Nighter setting spray. We then popped into the Disney Store, where Ash found all of the gifts she’d been looking for! I’d really suggest looking in the Disney Store on the Champs-Élysées if you can’t find certain merch in the parks, as Ash found everything she wanted in there! After a quick stroll to see the Eiffel Tower, we hopped back on the RER and back into the Disney Village, where we had our first Five Guys. I ordered a Bacon Cheeseburger, which was the best burger I’ve ever had in my life! The staff in there were so friendly and the meal was so cheap for what we got, I think I paid around €13 for a burger, a LOT of fries and a large drink. We’ll definitley be heading back there, I dream of that meal all the time! We didn’t end up watching any of the evening shows on our final night, instead we went on Tower of Terror another three times (bad mistake straight after a huge Five Guys meal!) and we got on Big Thunder Mountain twice, the wait times were only five minutes so we took good advantage of that!

We were a bit silly that evening and didn’t think to reserve a table somewhere for dinner, so we had a hectic rush trying to find somewhere nice to eat. In the end we headed back to our hotel and hoped that they could fit us in! We had a lovely cast member who managed to find us a table, however I really wouldn’t want to eat there again. It was a bit pricey at €43 each, not including drinks, and there wasnt much of a selection! I think next time we’ll book all of our reservations well in advance!

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Day Five: Last Visits to the Parks and Travelling Home

Packing to come home was an absolute nightmare for us! We’re both big worriers, so as soon as one of us thinks we’ve gone over the luggage allowance, so does the other, and it was just one huge panic hahaha. I ended up cramming all of my teddies and gifts into a huge bag for my hand luggage! (Turns out later, I’d actually lost weight on my suitcase by 2 kilos! All of that worrying for nothing!) If any of you are wondering, there are no scales to weigh your cases in the Sequoia Lodge hotel. After we checked out, we headed straight back to the studios park and got a fastpass for Tower of Terror. I think we were on that ride more than anything whilst we were there! We only had until around 2:30pm in the parks before we had to head back to the magical express stop, so we did one last stroll through the Disneyland Park, did a huge final shop on main street, and said goodbye to the castle, which is always the worst!

We had such an amazing time on this trip, and we cannot wait to head back! We hope all of you heading there for the 25th Anniversary celebrations have the best and most magical time!

If you have any questions about our trip, leave us a comment below!

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Disneyland Paris on a Budget

This September I came back from a long awaited holiday with my boyfriend to Disneyland Paris and at the time we were poor students, so we needed to find the best way to enjoy Disney on a tight budget.

We managed to catch the 2 nights 2 days free deal, which helped our budget out a LOT and for a 4 night 5-day stay, we paid £600. The price included tickets for both parks, breakfast every morning and the actual room, so fairly reasonable for everything included! Now we only had our flights left, which we booked through EasyJet. For flights, luggage and insurance from Manchester to Charles De Gaulle it cost us £198, again fairly reasonable for two people!

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We made a huge mistake that cost us when we arrived at CDG – Disney has a bus called the Magic Shuttle, which is a massive saving compared to the other options available. We didn’t research this or know that this was available to us and since we hadn’t been to Paris via CDG before and this was a maaaajor overlook. We struggled understanding trains and thought a taxi was our best bet after around 2 hours of strolling around CDG trying to find a way to our hotel, we were advised the rates changed if there was traffic… Surprise surprise, there was traffic! When we FINALLY got on Disney property, I was relieved, tired and excited… Until we saw the price of the taxi! €90! If you are staying on a budget, I would advise to pre-book the shuttle and save yourself the heartbreak of parting with your holiday money that is supposed to be spent on piles of Disney food and merchandise!

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Speaking of food, it’s so easy to buy EVERYTHING in sight because it all looks so delicious, but as we were on a budget we, unfortunately, couldn’t do that (I also didn’t want to come home 2 stone heavier!). When we arrived at our hotel it was around 8:30pm so not really enough time to go wander around the park without getting caught in the Disney Dreams crowds, so we looked to the restaurant in our hotel. As we were staying in the Santa Fe, the restaurant offered an all you can eat Mexican buffet that cost €25. The food  was alright for a hotel restaurant but we didn’t visit again, we had too many options elsewhere! The best idea we had during the week was to take a detour to the shop inside the train station located right next to the entrance of Disney and buy the meal deal, we got a sandwich, snack and drink for around €6 which generally kept us going for the day (with the exception of the occasional Nutella crepe!). We tended to wander over to Disney Village for our meal on the night, we visited Rainforest Cafe, Planet Hollywood and Annette’s, planet Hollywood was by FAR my favourite and our meals averaged out €25-35 per person, so we budgeted to be very careful through the day so we could go all out on the night!

The whole trip can be really affordable, I don’t think we broke the bank on our visit and it helped that I had a little bit of willpower and didn’t buy every piece of merch in every store we visited. Visiting Disney is such a magical experience and they have so many ways to make it accessible to everyone, no matter what their budget is.

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– @ashleighlillyx